Welcome to


We believe that you have valuable non-fiction stories trapped inside; and that you should release them as quality content and books.  

Our Mission is to empower individuals, solopreneurs and small business owners with the ability to write, publish and market their talents, attributes and non-fiction stories; and we achieve this by providing proven, practical training and support on writing, publishing, and content marketing.

Why you shouldn't die with your story trapped inside...

According to a survey carried out by the Jenkins Group in the early 2000s, 81% of people feel they have a book inside of them — and they should write it.

Unfortunately, not everyone starts writing their book, and of those who do, only three percent actually finish it.  Even more staggering, less than one percent of the original 81% go on to publish their book, either through traditional or self-publishing channels.

So, what stops over 99 percent of people from releasing their trapped stories?  Often it is not knowing where to start or what to write.  Additionally, people get overwhelmed by the whole process and quickly give up.  However, by following our proven step-by-step system, under the guidance of an experienced KESWiN Academy coach, you can join the elite group of successful authors.

So whether you want to write a personal memoir, a family history, or build a business by sharing your expertise through content marketing and book publishing, we can help you release your trapped books!

Something new

is coming soon!



We’re working on an awesome membership site that will help you to release your trapped stories and share your expertise with others. If you’d like to find out more, be the first to know when we launch AND receive a special launch discount then simply enter your details here.

I'm Deb Donnell

I decided I wanted to be an indie publisher at the age of 10.  Consequently, almost everything I’ve done since then has focused on achieving that goal.  From working in the UK publishing industry in my early twenties, to running writing groups on my return to New Zealand, and self-publishing my first book in my early thirties, to working with business clients who are writing and publishing their content marketing and non-fiction books.

I have attended and run many writing and publishing workshops and courses over the years, in New Zealand, North America, and online.  I was one of the pioneers in the online training industry in the late 2000s, helping solopreneurs set up WordPress websites and write quality, search engine optimised content for online marketing.

In 2009 I had the privilege to interview my US based mentor, “Mr Publishing,” Dan Poynter, during his third visit to Christchurch, New Zealand.  We both believe people should not die with their stories trapped inside, and it is our duty to help people release them.  Before he passed away in 2015, I was one of several people he handed the baton onto so we could continue his work.  KESWiN Academy is one of the results of that. 

5 Interesting Insights

About Writing, Publishing and Book Marketing…

Valuable Gems

Your stories are valuable gems forming throughout your lifetime; just like diamonds have been forming during the Earth’s lifetime.

Ejecting Ideas

First draft writing is the process of accessing and ejecting your ideas and stories onto the page, similar to diamonds being ejected onto the Earth’s surface.

Grading Ideas

Like diamond mining, from your first draft writing, you mine and grade your content, choosing and testing those which are most viable and valuable.

Build a List

Success means establishing your audience early, by publishing short pieces of content, attracting and building a list of people interested in your work.

Invest Time

Book writing takes time, persistence, and an experienced coach to train you, ensuring you practice daily and stay focused on achieving your goals.

Our Core Values

Principles, Beliefs and Vision

Continuous Learning and Improvement

We love learning, and continually strive to improve ourselves on a daily basis.  Part of our learning process is to not only test what is new, but to share it with others.  We never pretend to have all the answers for you.  When we don’t have a solution, we’ll first ask our community if they do.  If not, we’ll do some deep-dive research and testing.  Then we’ll present our solutions to all members in the Academy in the next Q&A.

Commitment to Long-Term Success

Writing, publishing and content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.  There is no such thing as overnight success, or a magic bean solution.  We know that to achieve long term success it takes passion, work, focus, persistence, lots of ideas, desire to do good, having people to push you, and being of service to your audience.  So we’re in it for the long-haul, and encourage you to commit to the long-haul journey too.

Inside-Out Transformative Growth

Writing, publishing, and content marketing is a transformative journey.  It’s a heroic quest to go within to discover and release your valuable trapped writing diamonds.  There will be obstacles to overcome and dragons to fight.  However, as the hero of your story, you can’t help but grow and be transformed along the way.

Mutually Empowering Relationships

We built the Academy because we understand the value of mutually empowering relationships.  By helping you, we help ourselves.  Therefore, we encourage all our members to help and be helped.  Our goal is for everyone to have win/win interactions inside our community, as well as out in the wider world.

Authentic, Authoritative Entrepreneurship

Authentic, authoritative entrepreneurship is the best business model for indie publishing.  So, when you get to know us, you get to know the real us.  We’ve worked hard to get to where we are.  Sure we have made mistakes, and we’ll share those stories so you don’t have to make them too.  In other words, you benefit from genuinely proven and tested solutions and training. 

Robust Resources and Systems

Every resource and system we recommend has gone through a deep dive research and thorough testing process.  We focus on, and train you to build infrastructure that is secure and private.  We don’t chase the latest bright shiny gimmick.  We treat all cloud and digital sharecropping and social networking platforms with caution, and advise you to do the same.

Our Vision

To empower and transform individuals to become independent authoritative thought leaders by sharing their KESWiN* and building strong connections with audiences in their niche market.

Our Purpose

To provide robust resources and a friendly, supportive community to mutually empower each other to build and grow unique authoritative personal and business brands through content marketing and book publishing.

KESWiN Acronym

*KESWiN™ is an acronym for your unique talents and attributes, including your:

  • Knowledge
  • Experiences
  • Skill-sets
  • Wisdom
  • ideas
  • Narratives
How we can help you


Let’s answer some

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Your Proven System?

We’ve spent years developing and testing our proven system, processes and resources.  This ensures that you are successful at writing, publishing and marketing your non-fiction stories.  As a member, you will:

  • Identify what makes you / your stories unique and valuable.
  • Choose a niche market for your stories, create goals and design a step-by-step action plan for writing, publishing and marketing.
  • Set up the necessary infrastructure for building and growing your audience.
  • Start writing, editing and publishing short pieces of content for feedback, to grow your list, and pre-sell your book while it’s being written.
  • Produce your first book by collating your short pieces of content, and following our step-by-step instructions for design and formatting.
  • Promote and market your forthcoming book and services (if applicable) through public speaking, media interviews, and other channels.
  • Launch your first book in digital and print formats, and sell through your own eCommerce store, and other channels.
  • Rinse and repeat to build a long-term, secure, respected and sustainable business.
How long before I have a published book?

This is a little bit of a “how long is a piece of string” question.  Because writing is a creative process, and people have varying standards around book publishing, the answer depends on how much time you have available, and what your goals are.  However, our training program is designed to be completed within 12 months, provided you have the time available and motivation to do the work.  By the end of the program, you should have a published book, and achieved your set sales targets.

What if I don’t want to build a business, but only want to write a memoir or family history?

Even memoir and family history authors need to establish a following, albeit their audiences are more exclusive and private.   That said, you’ll be surprised at how wide an audience there is for publications of this nature.  However, even if you want to keep your book audience small, you’ll still benefit greatly from our writing, editing and publishing modules.

What does membership in KESWiN Academy involve?

Membership is charged on a monthly subscription basis.  You get full access to our friendly, supportive community, training modules, business resources, coaches and support team. This is ideal for self-driven and self-motivated individuals. You will study and progress at your own pace, while leveraging off the feedback and fellowship of other members and the KESWiN Academy Team (KATs).

Who are the KESWiN Academy team (KATs)?

Our KATs are experienced trainers, coaches, technical experts and administrators who have already traveled ahead of you. They know the pitfalls, obstacles, and challenges that lie on the road ahead of you. They are committed to ensuring you avoid or overcome them with their guidance and support. They willingly share their KESWiN for you to model and leverage off.  By stepping into their footsteps, you will achieve your dreams and enjoy your success faster than you would trying to figure this out on your own.

Can I hire you/the KATs to do the work for me?

Sorry, the answer is no, so please don’t think you can persuade us otherwise.  While we used to offer publishing services to clients on a one-on-one basis, we made the decision to stop offering this option, and instead focus on providing our expertise on a one-to-many through KESWiN Academy.

I’d like to get some advice from you.  How do I arrange a consultation?

If you want advice, please join Keswin Academy.  Members have access to our experienced coaches, who can provide support and answers to questions through the monthly Q&As and community forum.  If you want a private advice or consultation session, or a manuscript assessment, we are not the publishing advisory service you are looking for. 

Are you available as a guest speaker/writer for my podcast, blog, publication, event, etc?

We are open to invitations to talk about topics relating to writing, publishing, content marketing, or our own publications.  Not all of our team members offer professional speaking, so we assess all invitations on a case-by-case basis.  If you’d like to make a request, please contact us, providing a brief outline about the premise of the interview/event, etc. 



Something new

is coming soon!



We’re working on an awesome membership site that will help you to release your trapped stories and share your expertise with others. If you’d like to find out more, be the first to know when we launch AND receive a special launch discount then simply enter your details here.

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